VALE of Glamorgan council leader John Thomas is set to be ousted as head of the authority following a meeting of Conservative members, it is understood.

Vale of Glamorgan Conservatives have told Cllr Thomas they no longer want him to lead the authority following their annual general meeting on Monday, April 29, sources have said.

Barry Dyfan-ward councillor Vincent Bailey is the Conservatives’ choice to take over the leadership of the council this month, the Local Democracy Reporting Service has been told.

In order for a leadership change to happen, either Cllr Thomas would have to resign or he would have to lose a motion of no confidence. A no confidence motion would have to be tabled with 10 days’ notice.

It is understood the saga around the transfer of Llancarfan Primary School to Rhoose, described by many as a “closure”, was a driving factor behind Conservatives calling for Cllr Thomas’ departure.

Cllr Thomas’ cabinet approved the controversial move despite opposition from parents and campaigners and criticism from one cabinet member, Councillor Gordon Kemp.

Cllr Kemp was eventually sacked from the cabinet after joining 11 Conservative councillors who abstained on voting for the administration’s budget.

The LDRS is also aware of “serious discontent” from several of Cllr Thomas’ backbenchers over a number of “PR blunders”, including proposed car parking charges throughout the Vale.

Cllr Bailey, who is the current chairman of the council’s environment and regeneration scrutiny committee, has been on the authority since the 2017 after gaining the Dyfan ward in Barry for the Conservatives from Labour.

Cllr Thomas was elected to represent the St Athan ward in 1999, and has been leader of the authority since May 2017.

A Vale council spokesman said: “Cllr John Thomas continues to be leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

“There has been one change to the council’s political executive. Cllr Bob Penrose has resigned from his position as cabinet member for mearning and culture. This post is currently vacant. The council’s cabinet remains otherwise unchanged.

“The meeting of full council on May, 1 2019 will go ahead as planned. 

“However, the resignation of two members of the Conservative group has caused the postponement of the council’s annual general meeting scheduled for May, 8 2019.

“At the AGM there is a discussion around the allocation of committee seats and chairmanships of committees. There is currently uncertainty as to how committee seats will be allocated.

“It is therefore appropriate to postpone the AGM so that the council can properly plan for that meeting and so that decisions can be made based on up-to-date political calculations.”

Newly-elected Tory group leader, Cllr  Bailey said: “I would firstly like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to John Thomas, who has worked exceptionally hard for the Vale of Glamorgan during his time as leader of the council and the Conservative Group.

“I would like to thank him for all of his help and support, I look forward to working with him and other colleagues as we move forward.

“The Vale of Glamorgan is a fantastic place, and fellow councillors and I look forward to delivering a bright and prosperous future for all our residents.  

“It is a huge honour to have been elected group leader, following a vote at the annual general meeting of the Conservative group.

“The council and its employees exist to serve local people, and moving forward our priorities must include delivering progress on the Dinas Powys by-pass, revisiting decisions to introduce car parking charges and close Llancarfan School, and looking again at the options to improve transport links between the A48 and J34 of the M4.”